Ready for another financial crash? Well it seems one could be on the way!

Sky news have the story on their web site – see link below:-

news.sky.com/story/next-financial-crisis-has-begun-and-will-be-worse-than-2008-crash-economists-warn-11497433

As if we don’t have enough to worry about with our economy tanking because of Brexit! Very sobering indeed with Brexit and potentially another financial crash hitting before we have even recovered from the 2008 crisis. If I was religious I may even recommend praying……

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting.

EU Referendum – When those charged with ensuring a fair and level playing field tilt that same playing field!

The Guardian has the comment piece on its web site – see link below

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/14/judges-brexit-vote-eu-referendum-vote-leave

I must admit that when it started to appear that the Electoral Commission had acted in a less than even handed way over the EU Referendum my first thought was no surely not but as the whole saga has unfolded some very worrying aspects of the actions of the Commission have been brought to the surface.

I suppose the bottom line is how on earth could a body charged with ensuring fairness in our democratic process get itself into such a situation? It beggars belief frankly.

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting.

Cable – has he hit the right notes here? What future is there for the center-left in UK politics?

The Guardian has a comment piece by Vince Cable on its web site – see link below

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/12/wealth-inequality-liberal-democrats-economic-reform

The left of British politics has struggled in recent times to put forward a credible alternative to the popularist right wing policies of the Tories/DUP/UKIP and this despite this same right wing cabal trying to drive through a Brexit which will hurt us all, make the poor poorer and lead to job losses and reduce investment in the UK. You would think this nightmare scenario would galvanise the left into action but sadly that has not happened.

Socialism and an economy based on private capital being invested in it never mix well

Yes Corbyn has his social policy agenda which could look good to voters at face value, but of course he is also wedded to the the right wing policy of Brexit! He’s in that rather bizarre political fix because many of his so called ‘working class’ supporters voted for a Brexit that will sadly shoot us all in the foot (but the poor more so) if it is followed through. So Labour is not presently credible because its policies of the left will be knocked out by Brexit. What’s more socialism and an economy based on private capital being invested in it never mix well. On that basis Corbyn’s lot would probably be a very unhappy one if he was given the opportunity to implement his policies. Indeed, he would be unlikely to be able to deliver his agenda other than in the very short term because economic trouble would surely be stalking him.

Influence the thinking of those across the left

So how do the ideas of Vince Cable stack up? Well he’s leading a party with a low support base so being able to implement his agenda looks to be a significant challenge. I suppose his best bet is to try to influence the thinking of those across the left, but not of the hard left of course. His agenda seems liberal, progressive and even radical. I particularly like his ideas to try to tackle the area of land value as it is of course the basis of the huge imbalance in wealth in the UK.

Back to the days of fascism?

British politics has been turned on its head since the 2016 Brexit vote. The Tories are all but UKIP under a Conservative flag these days and worryingly they have people amongst their leading lights who hark back to the days of fascism. Bluntly a political party with only around 100,000 members, many of them of the elderly, rich and far right are running this country into the ground because they will benefit from such a move. Brexit is the vehicle to achieve their aims and the left has not found a way to combat them because there’s no one of stature (with widespread credibility) on the left to lead that charge.

Breadth of support across the political spectrum

It’s as though our two major UK political parties have both gone into crisis at the same time and this really has not happened before. Labour under say David Miliband would be widely credible, Labour under Corbyn is hugely popular with a section of the British public but it does not in my view have the breadth of support across the political spectrum as Blair did to carry the day it seems.

Realignment of the left

Now don’t get me wrong Blair made some huge mistakes. Iraq obviously and trying to bring private companies into the NHS come to mind as examples but there was a much softer issue of huge importance which he let slip. It slipped ironically because of the huge majority he was given by our rather warped electoral system. That result made him think that realignment of the left need not be pursued further. His talks with Ashdown came to nothing because he thought he did not need to pursue them any more and his party was far from keen on those talks too. That was a huge error of judgement and an easy way out in my view and it probably started the decline (although no one realised it at the time other than a few enlightened folk) into the mess we presently find ourselves in.

The super rich will indeed become more wealthy at the expense of the rest of us

I have deliberately written this posting in a reasonably even handed way as I am convinced that progressives across all the parties of the center and left (although this would almost certainly have to preclude the hard left) need to find a reasonable common agenda which they can coalesce around. This needs to be done to face down the the rich and presently all too powerful right wing. If the left fails the right will reduce workers rights, environmental protections, food standards etc. on the back of Brexit and the minority of the super rich will indeed become more wealthy at the expense of the rest of us.

Put tribal politics to one side?

So having gone though these sobering issues is Cable on the right track? Will anyone be listening to his ideas to re-balance our fractured society? Or will the center and left continue to beat itself up whilst letting the need for great reform in the UK flounder on the back of Brexit? My view is that Cable is putting a credible progressive plan out there which others could work around and build upon if they could just put tribal politics to one side.

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting.

Ormskirk – Trouble at Council meeting leads to Police being called over Planning objections

The Liverpool Echo has the story on this web site – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/west-lancashire-local-plan-police-15141325

Planning applications, particularly those for vast new urban housing estates on what has to date been Green Belt and/or high grade agricultural land, always causes huge public upset. We’ve seen it neighbouring Sefton Borough in Formby, Southport and Lydiate/Maghull as is recorded on this blog site numerous times.

Having been on a Borough Planning Committee my thoughts are this. Local people do not have enough control over how their communities are developed, the planning system is far too complicated and difficult for ordinary folk to engage with and Councils are poor at engaging with their own residents.

As I’ve have also said time and time again there is a huge disconnect between planning and environmental policy making with the environment usually taking 2nd place in the process.

But probably more than anything else I bet that the house building that is planned for West Lancashire will, like in Sefton Borough, fail to meet the actual needs of local people anyway. More 3, 4 and 5 bedroomed properties when the need is almost bound to be for social housing, smaller properties & bungalows/single level properties. The land will be sacrificed, often land that grows the food we eat, but even then housing need in the real world will sadly not be met.

No wonder folk get angry with the system!

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Second member of staff to be on all new Merseyrail trains as RMT win long running battle

A new Stadler Merseyrail train artist impression

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/business/merseyrail-abandons-driver-only-trains-15096827

A dispute started by politicians has been won by the trade union they took on and eventually lost to.

Whilst Merseyrail, the train operator, was in effect dumped on and made to take on the RMT by Merseytravel (the Transport Committee of the Liverpool City Region) the real battle was always with the politicians of the Liverpool City Region. The fact is the politicians lost because they never had the backing of the travelling public who clearly wanted a second person on each and every Merseyrail train.

RMT Trade union’s ‘Keep the Guards Campaign’ 1, leading Merseyside politicians Nil. Oh yes and it was our local Labour political leaders whom the RMT took on and beat.

With thanks to Keith Page and Roy Connell for the lead to this posting.

Liverpool’s Heritage Open Days – September 6th to 9th and 13th to 16th

The Liverpool Echo has the article on its web site – see link below

‘Inside the hidden places opening for visitors for free during Liverpool Heritage Week’

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/inside-hidden-places-opening-visitors-15075446

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting